Getting the best from your garden in May
Thinking of doing some gardening this bank holiday weekend? Here’s a handy reminder of what type of garden tasks should be completed at this time of year….
Trees shrubs and flowers
- Stay on top of weed growth by hoeing- ensure that the kitchen garden and ornamental garden is hoed often and efficiently
- Plant summer bedding into containers with a good compost
- Mulch beds and borders to improve the moisture of the soil and to prevent weed growth
- Take cuttings of softwood from perennials such as Verbena, fuschia and geraniums to propagate for next year.
- Regularly inspect plants for pests looking particularly at the underside of leaves and shoot tips
- Cut back lavender plants by removing the old flower heads along with roughly 1 inch of new growth
- Prune spring flowering shrubs that have finished flowering
- Trim evergreen hedges that have overgrown
- Ensure that tender and younger plants are covered or moved into a greenhouse if frost is forecast
Fruits, Vegetables and Herbs
- Begin earthing up potatoes that were planted last month, do so as soon as they break through. Be careful not to harvest potatoes too earl; wait until there are fully visible flower trusses.
- Mulch under strawberry plants to act as a barrier between the moist and damp soil and the plant; this should help to prevent snails and mould. Feed the strawberry plants once a fortnight with Tomorite.
- Sow cauliflower and leeks that will be ready to eat in the winter.
- Sow bean varieties in a sunny position in well drained soil.
- Salad crops and coriander and parsley can all be sown in succession with about 10 days in between.
- Asparagus can be harvested when ready; spears no taller than 20cm.
- Harvest rhubarb by pulling at the stalks. Take between half and a third of the growth at one time, never any more than half.
- Water newly planted fruit trees well and encourage them to fully establish themselves by removing fruits and blossoms; allowing them to focus on growth.
- Protect fruit trees such as cherries from birds with netting.
- Once frosts are truly over plant out tomatoes.
- Take softwood cuttings of shrubby herbs.
Lawn, pond, greenhouse and wildlife
- Mow the laws once every week and apply a spring lawn feed if you haven’t already done so earlier this year.
- If you desire a short lawn, gradually reduce the height of your cut. Leave lawns that have been recently sown for at least 5-6 week
- Keep the greenhouse aerated by allowing airflow on sunny days.
For everything you need to get the best results in your garden, visit one of our Exeter Garden Centres today.